Last Updated: 8 March 2019
hometouch Assist - Managed home care service regulated by the Care Quality Commission
When the following words with capital letters are used in these Terms, the definitions below will apply:
Account Manager: A Care Advisor who is Your main point of contact as an existing Client for account related matters.
Audit:A process of data analysis, review and Continuous Quality Improvement that informs our policies, procedures and processes.
Bank Holiday: means a bank holiday in England and Wales, details of which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/bank-holidays.
Bank Holiday Rate: Our Bank Holiday rate is twice the non Bank Holiday Rate, unless agreed otherwise.
Cancellation Policy: The rules and procedures concerning cancelled visits, paused and terminated contracts.
Care Advisors: Trained office based advisors who are Your first point of contact regarding provision of home care, accessible typically by phone, email or live chat.
Care Journal: A ledger of historical data collected via the Professional Carer’s Smartphone Application and visible within the Client Dashboard detailing Personal Care delivered by Professional Carers during Care Visits.
Care Plan: A live and dynamic clinical document detailing the Personal Care needs and activities of the Care Recipient and tasks performed by Professional Carers, produced and updated collaboratively by the Professional Carer, family, Care Recipient and Nurse Manager.
Care Rate: The amount to be paid on an hourly or daily basis for the Service.
Care Provider: For the Managed Care Model of Care, the provider of care is HomeTouch Care Ltd, regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
Care Quality Commission (CQC): The Independent Regulator of Health and Social Care in England and Wales.
Care Recipient/s: The term we use to define the patient, service user, end user or individual receiving Personal Care provided by Professional Carers.
Care Visit/s: A finite, scheduled and remunerated period of time during which the Professional Carer provides Personal Care and other related services to the Care Recipient.
Carer Onboarding: The process which Professional Carers must pass through before becoming registered to deliver Personal Care once engaged by HomeTouch.
Carer Profile: A curated online profile of each Professional Carer, detailing biography, Disclosure and Barring Service Check, training and skills certification, tenure on the HomeTouch Platform and Client reviews.
Client: The person who manages the Care Recipient’s account. The Client may or may not be the same person as the Care Recipient.
Client Dashboard: The online portal, accessible by Smartphone Application, desktop or tablet that includes services such as Carer Profiles, Messaging, Care Plan, scheduling, contracts, Care Journal, and Billing.
Client Onboarding: The process through which we assess your suitability for using HomeTouch, which typically involves a phone discussion with a Care Advisor and a Initial Home Visit by a Nurse Manager.
Clinical Governance: The Policies and Procedures through which Our Registered Manager and other clinical professionals oversee and improve the provision of care.
Complaints Procedure: The manner in which You can make a complaint to Us and how we will process, investigate and respond.
Continuous Quality Improvement: The processes and activities that we engage to improve the quality and effectiveness of our service. For example, risk meetings, audit and feedback
Consent: The care recipient’s capacitous agreement to receive personal care (or other assistance) communicated via written, verbal or other readily understood method of communication.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: The legal framework that protects vulnerable individuals, who are typically non-capacitous, when they are confined to a single location such as a care home or Hospital.
Direct Payments: The funding mechanism provided by Local Authorities which permits Care Recipients an allocated budget for Personal Care
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check: A background criminal records check of the Adult and Children’s Barred lists that is a statutory vetting requirement.
Employment Business: Defined under the Employment Agencies Act 1973 as the business of supplying people in the employment of the person carrying on the business, to act for, and under the control of, other people in any capacity.
Dr Jamie Wilson: Our Chief Executive and Registered Manager
Dual Model of Care: The options available through HomeTouch - the Introductory Agency Model and Managed Care Model
Fees: The Monies due to Us in return for the Services provided to You.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): An up to date list of questions and answers that address common concerns and queries
Health and Safety Assessment: The assessment carried out in each home to ensure it is a safe working environment, safe for the Care Recipient and compliant with Health and Safety Legislation
HomeTouch Care Ltd : Our corporate entity which is responsible for two models of care with our registered Office at 359 Goswell Rd, London EC1V 7JL.
“HomeTouch Connect”: The trading name of Our Introductory Model of Care
“HomeTouch Assist” The trading name of Our Managed Care Model
Induction: The mandatory training that Onboarded carers must pass through before being engaged to provide Personal Care via the HomeTouch Platform
Initial Home Visit: The welcome home visit carried out by our Nurse Manager to assess your care needs
Introductory Agency: Our original and non-regulated business model where Professional Carers provide Personal Care directly to Care Recipients without the provision of Care Plans, Rotas or interference.
Introductory Model of Care: Our original and non-regulated business Introductory Agency model where Professional Carers provide Personal Care directly to Care Recipients without the provision of Care Plans, rotas or interference.
Key Lines of Enquiry (KLoE): The Framework used by the Care Quality Commission to inspect and regulate home care providers
Live in Care: The type of care where a Professional Carer resides on a temporary basis in the care recipient’s home for a 24 hour period.
Managed Care Model: The model of care whereby we act as the provider and HomeTouch employees work alongside the Professional Carer through the provision of regularly reviewed Care Plans and Risk Assessment, clinical support, Account Management and a 24 Hour Phone Line.
Mandatory Training: The statutory and minimum requirements for training that Professional Carers must satisfy by the end of Induction and that need to be reviewed annually.
Medication Administration Record: The document on which Professional Carers record any medication provided to You as part of Our Services.
Mental Capacity: For the purposes of the Mental Capacity Act (2005), a person lacks capacity in relation to a matter if at the material time he is unable to make a decision for himself in relation to the matter because of an impairment of, or disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain.
Minimum Requirements: The threshold of need at which we are able to provide a regulated service to You. At the time of writing this is 20hrs/week or 4 days/week on a recurring basis, located within the M25.
Model of Care: The business model of home care provision. HomeTouch operates a Dual Model of Care - an unregulated Introductory Agency and a regulated Managed Care Model
NHS Continuing Healthcare: The funding mechanism provided by Clinical Commissioning Groups which permits Care Recipients an allocated budget for NHS Continuing Healthcare
Nominated Individual: Nominated individual means the person who is employed as a director, manager or secretary of a body and whose name has been notified to CQC as being the person who is responsible for supervising the management of the regulated activity by the CQC. Our Nominated Individual is our Chief Executive, Dr James Matthew Wilson.
Nurse Manager: The qualified Nurse who oversees Initial Home Visits, reviews of Care Plans, and day to day contact with the Client, Care Recipient and Professional Carer.
Out of Hours Contact: Your Contact person for evenings and weekends.
Personal Care: Provision of intimate and sensitive assistance in the Activities of Daily Living, ranging from but not confined to companionship to personal hygiene, washing and dressing and nutrition.
Personal Health Budgets: The funding mechanism provided by Clinical Commissioning Groups which permits Care Recipients an allocated budget for Personal Care and other support for a long term condition.
Power of Attorney: The legal role fulfilled by the nominee of the care recipient in relation to finances and health and welfare.
Platform: The technical and operational hub developed and owned by HomeTouch, which caters to the needs of Care Recipients, Clients, and Professional Carers.
Professional Carers: The term we use to describe paid carers providing Personal Care through the HomeTouch Platform.
Public Liability Insurance:
Registered Manager:The legal role fulfilled by Dr Jamie Wilson for the purposes of Our Registration with the Care Quality Commission
Regulated Activity: A service or provision of care that is subject to regulation by the Care Quality Commission
Risk Assessment: The process of identifying all the risks to and from an activity, and assessing the potential impact of each risk.
This create a document developed by our Care Advisors, Registered Manager and Professional Carers that outlines and monitors the clinical and other risks to the Care Recipient. The document is subject to 3 monthly review.
Safeguarding: Ensuring that people live free from harm, abuse and neglect and, in doing so, protecting their health, wellbeing and human rights. Children, and adults in vulnerable situations, need to be safeguarded. Further details can be accessed in Our Safeguarding Policy
Self-employed: Our Professional Carers are Self-Employed for tax purposes in accordance with advice and guidance we have received from employment experts, HMRC, the CQC and other regulatory bodies.
Sensitive Personal Data: personal information about You and in particular Your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature, membership of a trade union, medical or physical health or condition, sexuality or the commission or alleged commission of any offence, that is protected by the Data Protection Act 1998.
Service/s: The activities provided to you by Us and Professional Carers during the course of the contracted period, which include but are not limited to provision of Personal Care, Care Advice, Scheduling, Billing, Messaging, Care Journal, Care Plan, and Risk Assessment.
Schedule: The timings of Care Visits which are agreed at the outset of the contract and modified in discussion with your Professional Carer and Account Manager.
Smartphone Application: The software accessed by Professional Carers and Clients whilst using Our Service
Statutory Break: A 2 hour break is required each 24 hours for a live in carer.
Statutory Notification: The statutory requirements for Us to notify the regulator in the event of specific events or incidents.
Us, We and Our: Meaning HomeTouch Care Ltd
You: The client on behalf of the Care Recipient.
24/7 Helpline - Our 24 hour a day/ 7 days a week phone line made available to clients receiving HomeTouch Assist Model
1.1 HomeTouch Care Limited (t/a HomeTouch) is regulated by the Care Quality Commission. We aspire to comply with and exceed the requirements of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated activities 2010).
1.2 HomeTouch offers a Dual Model of care comprising two distinct services depending on your needs 1. HomeTouch Connect - an Introductory Agency that has been in operation since 2015 and 2 HomeTouch Assist - a Managed Care Service that was started in March 2018.
1.3 These terms and conditions refer to HomeTouch Assist. Please refer to Our T&Cs for HomeTouch Connect on a separate page.
1.4 For the sake of clarity, our corporate entity HomeTouch Care Ltd is registered with the Care Quality Commission. However, only HomeTouch Assist offers a Regulated Activity that is accountable to the CQC.
1.5 You are able to switch between these two services depending on your needs from time to time.
1.6 We are defined as an Employment Business pursuant to the Employment Agencies Act 1973 as the business of supplying people in the employment of the person carrying on the business, to act for, and under the control of, other people in any capacity. This legislation allows for our Professional Carers to be self-employed providing certain criteria are met.
1.7 These are the terms of the Agreement between HomeTouch Care (“We”, “Us”, or “Our”) and “You”, “Your” and “Your home” (the Care Recipient/Client)
Our Service to You
“HomeTouch Assist” covers the Following:
- Assessment of Your care needs by Our Care Advisors via phone, email and live chat
- An Initial Home Visit and Care Assessment
- A Risk Assessment and Health and Safety Assessment of Your home
- Provision of a bespoke Care Plan
- Provision of Personal Care by Our Professional Carers
- A dedicated Nurse Manager for clinical enquiries
- A Registered Manager and dementia physician who provide clinical oversight and clinical governance
- Use of our Platform, Smartphone application and Care Hub - containing scheduling, contracts, messaging and billing
- Real time updates on care provision via Our Care Journal
- Access to vetted Carer Library of Professional Carers and matching service
- Account Management and dedicated Customer Service for account and billing enquiries and rota management
- Emergency back up
- A 24hr/7 days a week helpline
2.1 We will exercise reasonable care and skill to meet Your individual needs as set out in the Care Plan and to provide suitably trained, sufficiently skilled, experienced and competent Professional Carers to provide the Service.
2.2 We will endeavour to meet Your needs and preferences as set out in your Care Plan.
2.3 We will visit You and Your Home to discuss Your care requirements before We commence the Service. In emergency situations we endeavour to do this at the earliest opportunity.
2.4 Our Care Advisors will assess your needs over telephone to determine your suitability for HomeTouch Assist.
2.5 We will conduct an Initial Home Visit or visit you in Hospital or any other suitable location and prepare a Care Plan completed by a Nurse Manager or other suitable or qualified individual. In some instances this may be a Professional Carer employed directly by Us.
2.6 We will conduct a home risk assessment of your needs and health and safety assessment to ensure your Home is safe as a workplace.
2.7 Our Professional carers will work to the best of their ability in accordance with the Care Plan.
2.8 The Care Plan is a legal document accessible through our Platform that has certain statutory requirements attached to it:
- It must be reviewed 3 monthly by our Registered Manager
- It is a live document subject to regular amendments by Us in collaboration with You
- It may be subject to Audit and review as part of process of Continuous Quality Improvement
- We endeavour to keep this information confidential, although there may be certain exceptions such as Statutory Notifications to the CQC, where information will be disclosed
2.9 Professional Carers will update the Care Journal during Care Visits and up to 24 hours afterwards with due care and attention.
2.10This information will be available to you in the Care Hub and will be assessed and triaged by our Nurse Manager.
2.11 We will provide a 24 hour a day/ 7 days a week phone line made available to clients receiving HomeTouch Assist.
2.12 We will endeavour to provide an emergency back up service to the best of our ability and resources available.
2.13 If You are unable to express Your preferences as a result of impaired or lack of capacity (in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005) We will discuss and agree Your care and Your Care Plan with a relative or other authorised representative and act in accordance with Your best interests.
Our Professional Carers
3.1 All Our Professional Carers are self-employed and have been through our Carer Onboarding process, which includes telephone and face to face interviews, 2 employment references, Enhanced DBS checks, Right to Work in UK check, and mandatory training.
3.2 In the event that it is necessary for a Professional Carer to attend Your home at a different time and/or day to that agreed, We will give You as much notice as possible.
3.3 We will endeavour to match a named Professional Carer to You each time We provide the Service to You. However, sickness, availability and unforeseen events may require us to match your with an alternative Professional Carer. We will endeavour to give You as much advance notice as circumstances allow.
3.4 If a Professional Carer fails to attend Your home, or You are not satisfied with the standard of the Service, You must notify us by telephone or email without delay. This does not affect Your right to make a complaint in accordance with Our Complaints Procedure.
3.5 Our Professional Carers are not permitted to carry out certain tasks, including the following tasks:
(a) heavy lifting of any kind, including lifting or moving You without appropriate equipment or a sufficient number of people to assist; (b) household maintenance (including DIY tasks); (c) buying or recommending any over-the-counter preparations such as aspirins or cough medicines; and (d) any other tasks which they are not allowed to carry out pursuant to any applicable laws, regulations or policies.
Our Care Rate will be agreed with you at the start of the contract.
4.1 The Care Rate may vary according to the matters not limited to, complexity of care, specialist skills, manual handling requirements, and seniority of the the Professional Carer.
4.2 The Care Rate may be subject to change, but will not be adjusted once a contract has commenced, unless there are material changes to the care needs.
4.3 The Bank Holiday Rate is twice the normal Care Rate
4.4 You will be billed at the beginning of each week, for the care that will be delivered in the following week, depending on your preferred payment method. Our current payment provider is Stripe and all credit and debit card information is held securely and is PCI compliant.
4.5 For customers wishing to pay by BACS, any new customers choosing this payment method will be subject to a 5% administration fee. A Direct Debit arrangement can be set up for no additional charge.
4.6 If you are paying via Direct Payments or Personal Budgets, payment cannot be authorised unless we receive confirmation in writing from the relevant Local Authority or CCG.
4.7 We retain the right to review and increase our Fees for the Service on an annual basis and at any other interval if:
(a) we incur unforeseen costs of providing the Service such as cost of labour, materials and overheads; (b) a change is necessary in order to comply with any applicable regulatory or statutory requirements.
Medication Administration Policy
5.1 Our Professional Carers are made aware that they will only assist you with medication when authorised to do so and agreed as part of the Care Plan. All medication should be made available in their original packages and dosset boxes arranged by the pharmacist. The Medication Administration Record (MAR or eMAR) will be completed on each visit (or, if less, once a day) by Your Professional Carer.
Live in Care Requirements
6.1 Live-in Professional Carers have various legal rights which include (without limitation) the following:
Provision of a separate bedroom for them with suitable bathing and toilet facilities which are clean and in a good state of repair; and a minimum 2 hours break per day. This time off must be within daylight hours. If agreed at the time of assessment some of these hours may be banked to provide longer periods of time off on fewer days, but the minimum provision must be 14 hours over a 7 day week; and a maximum of 10 hours working during a 24 hour period, which may or may not be continuous and at night time.
Provision of ample food and clean bedding as well as adequate cleaning materials and protective clothing to carry out the Service properly. With respect to food We recommend a minimum sum of about £30 a week (or equivalent provision) for the cost of the Live-in Professional Carer food.
We will discuss these requirements with you in detail and record these in your Care Plan.
6.2 If You are unhappy remaining alone for any period during which the Live in Professional Carer has their break then We will be happy to discuss alternative arrangements as part of your Care Plan.
7.1 HomeTouch takes all customer complaints seriously and is committed to learning from mistakes and improving our service for both current and future customers and Professional Carers. If you have a complaint, please send this by email to email@example.com or contact us in writing or by phone. We will normally respond within one business day. This will escalated to a senior manager who review the complaint. We will investigate any matter referred and take appropriate action where necessary.
Carer Recruitment Onboarding and Training
8.1 We makes reasonable efforts to check the identity and information provided by carers. This includes visual checks of:
- passports to confirm identity
- right to live and work in the UK
- stated qualifications and training certificates where available
- existing DBS checks
- Mandatory training certificates
- 2 previous employment references
8.2 Where carers cannot provide visual confirmation of having passed a DBS check within the past 3 years, HomeTouch performs DBS checks via an external provider. HomeTouch does not conduct full reference checks of a carer’s stated employment history or care experience, but requests at least 2 previous employment references.
8.3 Professional carers undergo statutory training, are subject to performance reviews
Insurance & liability
9.1 Subject to various exclusions below We are responsible for loss or damage that is a foreseeable result of Our breach of this Agreement or Us failing to use reasonable care and skill, but We are not responsible for any loss or damage which is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is foreseeable if it is an obvious consequence of Our breach or if it was contemplated by You and Us at the time We entered into this Agreement.
9.2 Nothing in this Agreement limits or excludes Our liability:
(a)for death or personal injury resulting from Our negligence or the negligence of our employees, sub-contractors or consultants; or (b) for any damage or liability incurred by You as a result of fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; or (c) for breach of Your legal rights in relation to the Services; or (d) for any other matter for which it would be unlawful to exclude or limit Our liability.
9.3 If, during the provision of the Services in Your Home, We cause any damage to your Home. We will make good any damage save for where such damage is caused as a result of any pre-existing fault or damage or the provision of any faulty equipment by You.
9.4 We strictly require each of the Professional Carers to hold sufficient liability insurance policy at the minimum level as required by the then-current applicable laws.
9.5 You will ensure that, at all times during which the Services are being provided:
9.6 You have in place suitable building and contents insurance to cover accidental damage to Your Home or its contents; and where the Services include Our Professional Carers driving Your motor vehicle, that You have suitable motor insurance to cover damage caused by the use of the motor vehicle by the Care worker to passengers, Your vehicle and / or third parties or their property.
9.7 During the provision of the Services, We may suggest that You use certain third party service providers. Such suggestions are not part of the Services We provide. Your use of such third party service providers is entirely at Your discretion and at Your own risk and any contract with such third party service provider will be solely between You and them. We do not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage whatsoever that You may suffer as a result of Your use of such third party providers.
10.1 We take the welfare of vulnerable adults seriously and comply with all relevant legislation including the Care Act 2010, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults Act.
10.2 In instances where we deem a "vulnerable" adult is at risk of exploitation, abuse or any type of harm and we have received evidence to indicate this the case, we will comply with this legislation and refer the relevant parties to the nearest Local Authority's Adult Safeguarding Team.
Feedback and Reviews
11.1 You will be asked to provide feedback and reviews regarding the quality and reliability of our service from time to time.
11.2 We will give You as much notice as possible if any person other than the Care worker is to attend Your Home and You will use Your best endeavours to co-operate with us in respect of this clause.
Withdrawal of Our Service
12.1 We take the safety of our Professional Carers and in house staff seriously and safety is our paramount concern. We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour, verbal abuse, intoxication with alcohol or other psychoactive substances. In the event that this occurs, we reserve the right to withdraw Our Service.
12.2 In the event that the Client/Care Recipient is unable to capacitously manage their financial affairs and no third party is able to take on this role, we reserve the right to withdraw Our Service.
Cancellations, Pausing and Terminations of Contract
13.1 You can cancel the Service at any time (and for any reason) within 14 days of the date of this Agreement (the “Cooling Off Period”).
13.2 To exercise the right to cancel you must inform Us of your decision to cancel this contract by a clear statement in writing.
13.3 You must give us at least 14 days’ notice in writing if You no longer require the Service or want to suspend the Service for a period of time, once the initial 14 day “cooling off” period has been exceeded.
13.4 If such notice is not given, an invoice will be payable based on the care carried up to date.
13.5 These amounts shall be payable by You by reason of the inconvenience of not giving the appropriate notice, and to cover the Professional Carer for loss of income in addition to our administration costs in planning the Service to You.
13.6 If You pause the service for a period of time We cannot guarantee that the same Professional Carer will be available to attend Your home when You resume the Service.
13.7 It may be necessary for You to cancel one or more of your booked visits. For hourly care visits We require 48 hours notice of such a cancellation, to be given during office hours. For live in care We require 7 days notice of such a cancellation, to be given during office hours. Failure to do so will result in the full charge of the visit being levied, to cover the Professional Carer’s loss of income. Cancellation of such visits must be reported to the main office and not to our Professional Carers.
13.8 If You turn away a Professional Carer at the door or shorten the visit, for any reason, You will be charged for the full time booked for that Professional Carer and We will use our best endeavours to provide an alternative Professional Carer if so required.
13.9 If Your visits have to be cancelled due to a medical emergency i.e. hospitalisation, then no charge will be made.
13.10We may terminate this Agreement:
By giving 14 days’ written notice for any reason; or
After giving 14 days’ written notice that You have failed to pay the Fees; or
After giving 7 days’ written notice that We are unable to meet Your needs
13.11 This Agreement will terminate immediately in the event of Your death and (for the avoidance of doubt) Your estate will remain responsible for paying any outstanding fees.
Force Majeure/ Events outside our control
14.1 We will not be liable for any failure to perform or delay in performance of any of our obligations for any reason outside of our reasonable control, such as Acts of God (for example, riot, civil commotion, fire, flood, fuel shortages, strikes or labour disturbances and transport disruptions whether involving Our Professional Carers or any other party). All reasonable endeavours, in such an event, will be made to ensure provision of care continues while the interruption occurs. We will not be liable to You for any loss You may have suffered and/or cost You may incur as a result of the interference or interruption.
Gifts and payments
15.1 The Professional Carer shall not be permitted to accept any gifts or tips. Please do not leave any items or money to the Professional Carer (or any other person employed or engaged by Us) in Your will.
16.1 We may vary these terms and conditions from time to time depending on changes to our services. We will update you as and when this occurs.
16.2 If any provision of this Agreement is found by a court or other competent authority to be invalid or unenforceable that shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this Agreement.
16.3 The Agreement, these Terms and Conditions and the Care Plan constitute all the terms and conditions between You and Us (subject to the variations allowed for by those Terms and Conditions) and is made to supersede all previous agreements and arrangements relating to Your care.
16.4 You acknowledge that You have not been induced to enter into this Agreement by any representation or promise that the Agreement does not expressly contain (but this clause shall not exclude any liability for any representation made by Us that was made fraudulently).
17.5 Unless We agree with You otherwise, any notice required to be given to Us under the Agreement shall be in writing and shall be delivered personally, or sent by pre-paid first-class post, recorded delivery or by courier. Any notice required under the Agreement shall not be validly served if sent by other means.
18.1 The terms and conditions and any dispute arising out of Our service shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales. The courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim that arises out of or in connection with these terms and conditions or in connection with this service.